Wales - National Symbols

National Symbols

Main article: National symbols of Wales

The Flag of Wales incorporates the red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) of Prince Cadwalader along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. The British Union Flag incorporates the flags of Scotland, Ireland and England, but has no Welsh representation. Technically it is represented by the flag of England, as the Laws in Wales act of 1535 annexed Wales to England, following the 13th-century conquest.

The daffodil and the leek are also symbols of Wales. The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by David Lloyd-George. This is attributed to confusion of the Welsh for leek, cenhinen, and that for daffodil, cenhinen Bedr or St. Peter's leek. A report in 1916 gave preference to the leek, which has appeared on British pound coins.

The Prince of Wales' heraldic badge is also sometimes used to symbolise Wales. The badge, known as the Prince of Wales's feathers, consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the German motto Ich dien (I serve). Several Welsh representative teams, including the Welsh rugby union, and Welsh regiments in the British Army (the Royal Welsh, for example) use the badge, or a stylised version of it. The Prince of Wales has claimed that only he has the authority to use the symbol.

"Hen Wlad fy Nhadau" (English: Land of My Fathers) is the National Anthem of Wales, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Wales national team as well as the opening of the Welsh Assembly and other official occasions. "God Save the Queen", the national anthem of the United Kingdom, is sometimes played alongside Hen Wlad fy Nhadau during official events with a royal connection.

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